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Posted at 5:37 PM ET, 11/ 3/2010

Election wrap-up: Good news locally, bad news nationally

By Dan Malouff

The election is over and from an urbanism/transportation perspective, the results are mixed.

Locally the news is mostly good. O’Malley beat Ehrlich, ensuring the Purple and Baltimore Red light rail lines will continue to move forward. Tommy Wells and Chris Zimmerman, two of the loudest local voices for smart growth and multi-modalism, both won reelection to their city/county council positions. Arlington and Fairfax Counties passed bonds for transportation spending worth over $150 million dollars.

Nationally things were more bleak. The Republican takeover of the House will make passing a progressive transportation reauthorization bill much more difficult. Ohio and Wisconsin elected new anti-rail governors likely to squash the nascent intercity rail programs in those states. And perhaps the biggest loss: Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar - one of the two leading voices for progressive transportation in Congress - lost his seat.

Overall, transportation fared well enough considering the tide of the election as a whole. Oberstar is a monumental loss, but the reauthorization bill probably wasn’t going to live up to our expectations anyway, and if Ohio and Wisconsin cut their rail projects the federal money allocated to them will be redistributed to other rail projects elsewhere; it’s conceivable some of it could land in the Northeast or DC-Richmond corridors, to our local benefit.

The election was unfortunate, but it could have been a lot worse.

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Dan Malouff  | November 3, 2010; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland  
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